Sunday, March 1, 2009

On My Daughter Turning Two

It's hard to express how phenomenal it is to celebrate my little girl's second birthday. It seems so cliched, so hackneyed to call her a miracle. But she is. She is the most recent example of God's undying love for me and my wife. I see in her face, the love of my God who looked down and found us in a desperate hour. Alone. Scared. Hurting. And He breathed life into her embryonic form. He gave us this valentine. This daily reminder that He knows our name.

Which isn't to say that Jesus doesn't already prove that God loves us. He does.
But my little girl, now two years on, is another reminder. And a most tangible one we can see and we can hug. And we can rock to sleep while singing her a song I wrote for her as I drove to the hospital one February day.
Little ZZUB is funny and smart, creative and witty. Her sense of humor is astounding. You don't often think of a two year old being witty. But she is. She cracks us up so often. And yet, her most over-arching quality, the thing which we are so thankful for, is her strong will. Sometimes, we're vexed by it, and certainly we discipline her when she flexes it in the wrong direction. And still, when my wife and I are alone, out of ear shot of the girls, we reflect on how great it is that her will is so strong. Because she wouldn't let her life be snuffed out.
I will never be able to explain what happened in that hospital on September 5, 2006. To be so sure the baby was gone. There was an unbelievable amount of blood. My wife's pains were great. We were certain another baby had left us too soon. The idea of an ultrasound seemed almost an insult. Why did we need to see what was so obviously true? I didn't want another imagine like that in my head. I already had the horrifying imagine of Samuel laying motionless inside my wife's womb. Lifeless. His precious little head slumped over. I thank God my wife could not see what only the technician and I saw. What is still burned into my mind.
I didn't want that again.
And of course, that isn't what we saw. Instead, the images on the screen that September night were our little ZZUB, a bouncing little bean. It was as if she was dancing. Shouting. I'M ALIVE!
Whatever force of darkness tried to snuff out her life that day failed in its mission. Because God gave our little girl, our little Bean, the strength. To resist. To bounce.
You'd think after that night in the ER that the rest of my wife's pregnancy was easy. It wasn't. There were further complications. Additional concerns. Still, at each turn, we were comforted by the images we'd seen in September. Our little Bean. Bouncing and shouting. Not giving up.
So it was hardly a surprise then when she decided to come a month early. In a certain display of her very strong will, she'd decided she'd had enough of the womb and she was ready to break forth and tackle the world outside. She was born to us on February 27, 2007. And what was another in a growing line of miracles in her life, she didn't require any extraordinary measures. No incubator. No neonatal intensive care. No extended stays in the hospital.
I remember holding her that night. Holding my little baby Bean. Kissing her head and telling her who I was and who she was. Promising her a roof over her head, a good education, a family of faith and regular trips to Disney World.
I love both my daughters equally and this isn't intended to elevate the younger one over the older. They're both miracles to us. And fortunately, God has given both my girls wit and humor and a strong will. Strong willed children may be more challenging, but my girls will grow up to be leaders.
I've been reading in the Old Testament lately. I'm enamored of Moses' persistence and the dramatic story that unfolds in Deuteronomy. In Chapter 9, he exhorts the Israelites not to think too highly of themselves. Their victories over enemy forces are not because of their righteousness. They are not righteous at all. And they are not to think God chose them because they are righteous. They are not. And he reminds them of their many sins and rebellions. No, they will have victory over their enemies because of God and God alone.
So we don't take any credit for the good things we receive. We don't deserve them. We deserve Hell, damnation, judgment and pain. That we get to go to Heaven is God's grace. That we get to enjoy any good things in this life is just further evidence He loves us.
So as I watch my little girl turn two, bouncing and hopping, singing and laughing, I am reminded of God's massive love for us. Little ZZUB, our little Bean, continues to bounce. To dance. To sing. To let us know she's here.
Which is fine by me.

42 comments:

  1. Zzub,
    I remember reading about your night in the ER on your trip report. I cannot fathom the fear and uncertainty you must have felt in those moments. What an awesome miracle God has worked in the life of your family!
    Cherish this time. Hold tightly to each moment. There are certain memories I have where I specifically recall thinking “This is a moment I’ll never forget.” God has taught me more about Himself through my girls than in any other area of my life. Through them, I have discovered the delight He takes in our fellowship, the joy He takes at our triumphs and the unending grace, patience and gentleness He has when we fall short of His expectations.
    Your faith is the greatest inheritance you will ever leave your children. Keep this post. Use it times of darkness and storm as a reminder of Gods unfailing love and faithfulness in times of darkness and sorrow.
    God bless my Christian Brother,

    In Christ,
    GB

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  2. Zzub,
    I am a long time lurker. I'm not quite sure as to why. Perhaps a fear of not being as witty as some of your friends or, maybe, simply not computer savvy. I was touched by your words describing your love and commitment to your family. I believe most parents (at least here on this blog) feel the same about their children. I know I do.
    Well behaved, strong willed, and sweet children do not happen by accident. You and your wife are part of the reason. God is another. You are fortunate to have that balance in your lives.
    I hope my banter is coming across as sincere since my writing skills are sorely lacking. It's not easy for me to put into words my feelings, hopes, dreams, and love like you. Keep writing.

    Andrea

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  3. ZZUB! I found the link to this blog and was thrilled! I loved your writing during your trip reports, and I must say it's refreshing to "read you" again here! God bless you and your family on Little ZZUB's birthday. Thank you for so openly, so boldly sharing your faith and what you know God has done for you (and I!). I have little miracle girls myself, and only pray that I will let them constantly teach me and remind me of the One who gave them to my husband and I! I look forward to reading along some more!

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  4. ZZUB, my twins share a Birthday with your Bean!

    One of the things that drew me into your trip reports was you being so open about your pregnancy loss... My husband and I lost three pregnancies before we had our son.

    Happy Birthday Little ZZUB! It is just a much a celebration for her parents ;)

    preschoolmom

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  5. Beautiful! A lovely way to start my Monday. Or to re-start it as I needed a jolt of something after taking our two "miracles" for their check-ups and shots this morning.

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  6. Happy Belated Birthday Little Zzub! You have a very special Mommy, Daddy and older sister.

    Thank you for sharing your love and your story with us Zzub. It's wonderful to read about and as always, you do a wonderful job writing about your family.

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  7. Amen.

    Zzub,

    Your talent is keeping things in perspective and then translating your thoughts into the written word. Thanks for the reminder that it is too easy to get so caught up in day-to-day "busyness" that I sometimes forget to appreciate and recognize my blessings.

    -Vicki

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  8. ZZUB - beautiful, as it usually is when you describe your family. I know that you know that you are not alone in appreciating the absolute miracle that children are. My scare with my own firstborn are somewhat like what you describe for the Bean. I lost a twin, and was pretty well told that I had lost the baby, they even sent me home overnight to let what was going to happen happen. Then, the next day, the doctor insisted on another ultrasound, not trusting what he saw the day before, and there was her little heart just pounding away. I mourned the loss of what (I think) was her brother at the same time that I celebrated the precious gift I still had. And you can't help but look at your children and just WONDER about what could have been. Which does not detract from what you HAVE.

    God bless you all!

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  9. dang. where's the edit. stupid grammar.

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  10. Well, ZZUB. You've gone and done it again. Very beautiful prose about your sweet little girl. I'm sure she is a HUGE bundle of happy for your family, and the milestone of her birthday was a great way for y'all to celebrate the blessing of her in your life.

    I, too, had a similar scare with my daughter. Her birth was a time the Lord used to change me in many ways - all of them for the better. I'm thankful for that.

    Congrats on that sweet baby girl's birthday. Hope she had some good cake for you to scarf down a piece or two of.

    Moving on.

    Andrea, ZZUB isn't witty and neither are his so-called friends. In fact, if he's ever written anything witty, it's only because he's drunk off of Nyquil and honey. So he can't even take the credit. I'm sure I speak for him when I say post here as often as you like. If he'll let folks like LaLa post, we're all safe.

    I LOVE YOU LALA!!!!!!!!

    Where IS LaLa? Burning down the house again?

    Y'all have a good day.

    NM

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  11. It's good to see old friends (GACat) and new (Hi Andrea) alike. It's amazing to me how much our story resonantes with so many other people b/c they've had something very similar happen to them. Before you have kids, you're blissfully unaware of how complicated the whole thing can be. I continue to be amazed by the number of people who have a similar tale to tell.

    For those of you tracking whether the ZZUBs will return to Disney World this year: here's another bit of support for the position we'll return: When Mrs. Z was reading this blog entry, Li'l Z was sitting on her lap. When she spotted the picture of the Contemporary she said, "Temp-a-ry!" Mrs. Z turned to me and asked if I heard her say that. She asked Li'l Z what that was a picture of and she said it again.

    In other words, my 2 year old can correctly identify (even if she can't correcly pronounce it)the name of her Dad's favorite resort. Stuff like that makes it harder to resist a return visit this year.

    Z

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  12. Speaking of drunk on Nyquil, it's good to see NM is back from Disney World. Will you be regaling us with stories from your trip? I'm sure there are more than 2 people who'd be interested to hear about visit.

    I, however, am not one of those people.

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  13. Well, first the serious stuff. And good stuff it is. All of our children, of course, are miracles. But those of you who have had scares and even tragedies can feel that especially deeply, I'm sure. I was lucky to have very smooth pregnancies and deliveries, so I can only begin to imagine what so many of you experienced during those tenuous times. Little Z certainly is a gift, and the whole time I was reading, all I could picture was that amazing photo of you with her, walking hand in hand.

    It also made me think of my oldest, who is a bit more challenging today, on his 17th birthday, than he was in the delivery room. But a miracle and a blessing nonetheless....I keep reminding myself of that.

    And OF COURSE you will go back this year. As you should. The Temp-a-ry will miss you if you don't! But are you sure that's what Little Z was saying? Maybe she was referring to your hairline. Or the presence of her birthday cake once her dad walked in the room. Or maybe Arnold Vinick's presidential candidacy. Who knows.

    Yes, NM, tell the blogosphere some more about your trip. I think Z might like to know *ahem* where you stayed ; )

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  14. Where the heck is LaLa anywho? We need a vote on which is worse.....Doing Disney off-site or completely jumping the shark and going to Universal?? Since I've done neither, I'll just sit back and wait for the results of the poll....

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  15. Wow- Thanks for another great post. I was very moved by your honesty and love for your family.

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  16. Have I told you I like it here? Thank you for taking the time to make this a comforting, funny and interesting place to hang out. This was a great post and I for one can not believe that it has been two years since your little gift made it here! I remember being so happy and relieved for you all. I sat on that balcony at the Wilderness Lodge with you and shared your concerns and prayers for your wife and 'bean'. What a tough time for you guys. Way to stay strong Zzub family and Happy Birthday Lil Zzub!


    Now, the song "If you had wings"....is that from the old Eastern Airlines ride that is now home to Buzz Lightyear?!!!???!!!

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  17. Happy Birthday, to your little bean!

    I do truly believe that there are some little ones that had a big dose of stubborn breathed into them to carry them through those medical trials. Have one, pretending, to be asleep down the hall. I swear, there is no better sound than the rise and fall of his chest as he peacefully sleeps. Hug them tightly! I know that you will.

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  18. Am I the only one who made the stupid move of switching up my username and password for the blog? I can't get in here half the time cause I can't remember how to sign in.

    Anywho.

    I'd love to regale y'all with tales from our trip, but unfortunately, it would probably be at LEAST 10 pages in Word and I have to go teach some preschoolers a little bit about music this morning.

    But here's the quick skinny: We DID stay off property and we liked it. A whole bunch. Much more than we ever thought we would. Transportation was easy peasy since we have our car, the digs were really nice, and the little things like having good coffee in the morning were a neat treat.

    However, we did NOT prefer it to being onsite. I think ultimately, we're perfect DVC candidates. So why we don't bite the bullet and do DVC, I'm not sure. Although with the free cruise promotion, we're giving it a closer look.

    Gotta run for now, but I, too, am enjoying this place to chat. Thanks, ZZUB.

    You big dork.

    Where the heck is my Laaaaaaa Laaaaaaaa?????

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  19. A long time ago, I posted a thread on the Disboards asking if anyone had seen this commercial and if so, if they knew where I could find it. The response was typically useless. Many people said they had never seen the commercial and some doubted whether it even existed.

    Pee on all of you!

    Because Li'l ZZUB has been asking to ride Small Wuld, I pulled up some Small World Video on You Tube. Then she wanted to see Goofy and Guck. So I found video of them, too. And then I found this. The video is not great but it's THE commercial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1eTGaZZUhA

    Enjoy.

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  20. Li'l ZZUB has been asking to ride Small Wuld, I pulled up some Small World Video on You Tube. Then she wanted to see Goofy and Guck. So I found video of them, too.

    Oh, you are SO going this year!!

    And I had never seen that commercial. Very sweet! Just couldn't resist the "I told you so!" could ya?!

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  21. Am I the only one who cries at every one of those commercials?

    Normangirls

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  22. Well, with one little blog entry you've managed to do (curiously) what all the Number Four references and vomit pictures in the world could not.

    You left me speechless.

    For awhile anyway.

    I read your newest entry the other day, ZZUB. But it's only just now that I'm able to actually comment on it. As you already know, like many people here I can identify with the sadness and loss that you and your wife experienced before God blessed you with the Bean. And as time has gone on, life has gotten busier and although I've never forgotten (never could and would never want to), I don't walk around thinking about it all the time. Yet it never ceases to amaze me how powerfully it can all come flooding back in at even the slightest, most random trigger. In other words, since reading your beautiful tribute to the Bean the other day, I've found myself stuck in 1997.

    And 2000.

    It could be worse. I could be living too much in '82. And selling Tupperware.

    On the surface, that may not seem like such a good thing. But I don't ever want to forget. Because in order to fully appreciate how far God has brought us, it's imperative that we remember the bad experiences along with the good. We have to go through the valley in order to get to the mountaintop. And over the past few days, I've given God abundant thanks anew for my two sweet little mountaintops.

    So although I know me and my story has nothing at all to do with your poignant observations of your sweet daughter turning two and your thanks that God instilled a steel will and a sweet spirit in her, I just want to tell you thanks for writing what you wrote. Thanks for the reminder of how far He's brought us all. And how incredibly beautiful His grace is.

    Between me and you, I think you did a pretty good job speaking the indescribable.

    And I agree with GB.

    Sorry GB, but I just can't bring myself to address you as Great Biscuit. It's bad enough that I communicate with someone named ZZUB.

    I think you should print out this entry and keep it forever. Sandwiched between The Ultrasound Picture and the one of the two of you walking hand in hand. Because although I grew tired of looking at the back of your calves everytime I wanted to hear some Disney music, that picture's pure puddin'.

    Happy Belated Birthday, Miss Bean. Seems like it was just the other day we were reading about her blessed entry into the world and rejoicing right along with you. It's been a pleasure to witness God bring your little family full circle, ZZUB. Thanks again for sharing the journey with us.

    La2

    PS. You know only the coolest of the cool listen to Kutless. So why do you have it?

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  23. One more thing.

    Ash, were you serious or were you just joking about wanting the lowdown on Univeral? Because you know I can give you the lowdown if you want it.

    Just say the word.

    And Andrea? ZZUB doesn't have any friends. Witty or otherwise. So don't let that be a deterrent for you in the future.

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  24. What happened here? Did LaLa kill the blog?

    Those were some really great thoughts, La. I, for one, have thankfully never gone through such an experience, but I know I would be just like you - you don't want to REALLY forget. Sometimes when the tough season ends, we get up off of our prayin' knees and forget about the One who brought us through. So thanks for that reminder.

    Moving on.

    Girl, nobody really wants to know about Universal!! That's heresy, woman!!

    Except it's not.

    I'd really like to know about it - and I'm thinking once my little man is a bit taller, we'd really enjoy the place. There were some ads on the Hilton TV last weekend, similar to the ones Disney has on their resort TV, that made that place look like a really good time.

    Alright, for the GA peeps: Is pollen screwing with y'all's sinuses yet? I think it is mine and I'm FREAKIN' TIRED OF IT!!!!

    But as a consolation, it will be in the HIGH 70s this weekend.

    BOOYAH!!

    Y'all have a good day.

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  25. NM - yes. freakin weather. But at least the grass should be turning green any day now. I am very much looking forward to some not-so-freaking-cold weather. 70's is ALMOST warm. ;)

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  26. Well thank you La2 for breaking my blog. Which is so typical. And now why don't you admit that YOU are the notorious blog hacker from Summer 2006.

    If this was the Disboards, I couldn't call you white trash. But it's not, so I'm calling you white trash.

    Which is WORSE than calling you a woman from Qumar.

    From the Dept. of: Why Didn't I Do This Sooner? I just got a wireless mouse and keyboard for my office computer. Dude, I'm so loving the freedom of being untethered. NONewBaloonRideAtDowntownDisney.

    FYI: GACAT, it's not 70 deg here, but the grass has been green all winter. That's the upside to the Pac NW; it's green in winter; brown in summer.

    Speaking of summer, Vote for Pedro.

    Because that joke will never be played.

    Unlike TFI which was never funny to begin with.

    Z

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  27. Hey, I LIKE TFI. For some reason, it's just easier, since it can be used in lieu of both FYI and BTW. At least I think it can. I never did consider it funny, per se.

    La, I wasn't really asking for info about Universal, but I will want some at some point. Not yet though. I never seem to have enough time down there to get my fill of WDW. If I ever do, then I'll take a few days to explore the Evil Empire....

    My wireless mouse broke. Must get it replaced. It's a must have with a laptop, and I miss it....especially when I play trivia.

    What's grass? I still see nothin' but snow when I look out into my yard. Though it did hit 62 degrees today. Hopefully, the green will start to show itself real soon.

    Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead tonight. Sorry Rhonda.

    VOTE FOR SUMMER!

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  28. I'm not the notorious blog hacker from Summer 2006 but I DID save a lot of money on my car insurance.

    And just so you know, your blog isn't cool enough to be broken by me. And your mom goes to college.

    Nice to know you've got green grass where you are, ZZUB. Not to rub it in or anything but like the GA folks, we've also got the 70 degree weather going on here. It's been gorgeous today and we spent a good bit of time at the tennis courts. Where the boy loaned the girl his Alabama hat. Because she swears that when she turns it around ralley style, it makes her swing WAY more powerful. And it did. Which is a good thing. Or a bad thing. Depending on which court you were playing in at the time. Ours or the one NEXT to ours.

    Oops.

    All that to say this: I may be white trash but at least I'm not PO white trash.

    NOMel.

    And: you stink. Again. But I DID catch you a delicious bass.

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  29. Hey Ash!

    Thanks for the reminder about springing forward. Now if only Frick were here to tell us what time it will REALLY be tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.....

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  30. We had a nice conversation just now in the car about getting the extra hour. My son was SO GLAD we had an extra hour. And that the days were getting longer. My daughter rolled her eyes and reminded him that we still have the same hours in the day, and even the same hours that are light. They just come at different times.

    He was undeterred. It's 6:30 and it's still daylight. And he can go outside and play some more. And that's all he needs to know.

    BTW, I STILL heart the Space Mountain queue music. Even moreso since I'll bet it will be different the next time we go to Disney.

    Big sigh.

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  31. What an awesome story. Thanks.

    BDG

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  32. Little ZZUB shares a birthday with my husband, who turned 31 on Feb 27th. As always, your words are inspiring and bring tears to my eyes.

    And that commercial? Total tear jerker.

    Your entire blog makes me cry, no offense. :)

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  33. Hi anonymous. Sorry my entire blog makes you cry. But I have to know, what was it about the ode to a spork that made you tear up?

    Z

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  34. so....

    I dropped by to see what's up, but I find all the lights off and dust all over the furniture... hmmmm...

    So... I vaccuumed and tidied up a little, put on a pot of coffee, and there's some warm pop tarts on the counter.

    I'll just be sittin over here in the corner reading my book... until there's something better to read in here

    btw... love the new sofa and recessed lighting, nice and comfy place to hang out. Goes well with the "mood music". All we need now is a few fireworks...

    just sadin'

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  35. Zzub,

    My oldest was a difficult pregnancy at the end and there were complications with the delivery. I almost lost him! He is a blessing from God and I thank him for my son everyday. So you sharing your experience with us was especially touching.

    Recently, we almost lost him again. Right before his 13th birthday he had a serious 4-wheeler accident. The Lord was with him this day to and saved him from serious injury. I can only imagine the work the Lord has planned to use him for.

    God bless your family and thanks for sharing them with us.

    Joleen76

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  36. GrammiKelli, were those warm Pop Tarts supposed to be for Zzub? Oops. Sorry about that. Er ... not that I ate them. *wipes crumbs off shirt*
    It was La La. But look! She replaced them with icing-less blueberry "Toaster Tarts," to save you from sugar overload! Always thinking of you, that La.

    Of course, I might be induced to replace the Pop Tarts (that I didn't eat, of course) with some dee-lish-us iced Pop Tarts with sprinkles ... if you ever get around to posting again....

    anna_chronistic

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  37. Happy B-Day to the miracle baby born with a golden spork in her mouth!

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  38. LaLakishaLa sad:

    Thanks for the reminder about springing forward. Now if only Frick were here to tell us what time it will REALLY be tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.....

    I will admit I couldn't have helped you at all. I was in Panama City during the time change, hanging out at LeVela and Spinnakers. heh heh. Anyhow, it was bad enough to be on Panama City time, but then to lose an hour, and then translate that back to Georgia time was purely torture. That is why I haven't been here in so long.

    Apparently Zzub is having trouble with the time too since he hasn't been here in six weeks. Either that or he is pulling a Mel. Or he is in a cake coma.

    Since he isn't here, I'm going to highjack this here blog for a moment.

    LaLa, I have a quick Universal question. Are any shows filmed there that you can scoot in and watch? I wish they still had Double Dare because I always wanted to go down the slide into the ice cream sundae.

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  39. I suppose the next time ZZUB sees fit to make an appearance on this here blog, we'll be reading a lil sumpm sumpm called "On My Daughter Turning Twenty Two".

    Frickalicious sad: LaLa, I have a quick Universal question. Are any shows filmed there that you can scoot in and watch? I wish they still had Double Dare because I always wanted to go down the slide into the ice cream sundae.


    I'm not sure about the shows, Frick. We never saw any. Although....there may not be any sliding down slides into ice cream sundaes involved but you CAN be a contestant on Fear Factor, Frick. Or just watch a bunch of idiots compete. Some friends of ours did it while they were there and he made it all the way to the end. Last man standing. He won a buttload of free stuff, including free passes. His family members were called on stage to do all that gross stuff and my friend actually let them pour scorpions on her head.

    IDIOT!!!

    Anyway, I figure that would be right up your alley. As long as they're force feeding you lukewarm ham juice and burnt cookie crumb milkshakes and making you do the three legged race. Seeing as how you have three legs and eighteen toes, you'd have it wrapped up FO SHO, woman!

    I have to know one thing: did you crank up "Panama" and sing it at the top of your lungs on the way down? If not, I no longer want to be your friend.

    FHOAM

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  40. CrabClawLa sad
    I have to know one thing: did you crank up "Panama" and sing it at the top of your lungs on the way down? If not, I no longer want to be your friend.


    Girlfriend, considering we had two sleepy kids in the back seat, there was no cranking up of Panama. sigh. It would have been lovely though. Instead, I plugged into Mr. Frick's ipod since mine was dead and I rocked out all by my lonesome.
    We CAN still be friends though because I bought an airbrushed car tag with a sunset, palm trees and Frick n Mr Frick 5ever. Oh and I also bought an American Flag bikini so we are going to be BFF's for a long time.

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  41. Hey Zzub, I hope all is going well for you and yours. I was thinking about you guys tonight and I pray that God will give you and extra measure of His grace this week.

    God bless.

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